[BIBLE.] THE NEW TESTAMENT of Jesus Christ: faithfully translated.

Antwerp, Daniel Vervliet, 1600.


4to. pp. [xxxvi], 745, [xxvii]. a-d, e², A-5D,  5E². Roman letter, some italic, woodcut initials, woodcut and typographical head and tail pieces, title within ornate typographical border, autograph ‘A Witham’ c.1700 on fly, “This book was new bound by William Pinder, bookbinder living in Carsford Street, Norwich.” on pastedown, in C17 hand, bookplate of William Connery below. Title and next two leaves restored at outer blank margin, the next few a little frayed at very outer margin, the odd marginal spot or mark, general light age yellowing. A good, clean copy, bound in Norwich by William Pinder circa 1670, covers triple gilt ruled to a panel design, gilt fleurons to corners of inner panel, ‘IHS’ gilt stamped in roundel at centres, rebacked, all edges gilt and gauffered with rows of flower tools, covers rubbed and scratched, leather a little crackled, corners restored. In modern brown slip case.

Rare second edition of the Roman Catholic version of the New Testament, with extensive commentary and notes, first published at Rheims 1582, here revised with additions such as the ‘Table of Heretical Corruptions’. A most interesting copy with an extremely rare, early record of its binding in Norwich by William Pinder. This edition remained the standard and virtually the only English Catholic bible for some four hundred years. The Old Testament followed in 1609-10; although it was finished considerably earlier it was not published for lack of funds. “The work of preparing such a version was undertaken by the members of the English College at Douai, in Flanders, founded by William Allen (afterwards cardinal) in 1568. The chief share of the translating was borne by Dr. Gregory Martin, formerly of St. John’s College, Oxford. His text was revised by Thomas Worthington, Richard Bristowe, John Reynolds, and Allen himself — all of them Oxford men. A series of notes was added, designed to answer the theological arguments of the Reformers; these were prepared by Allen, assisted by Bristowe and Worthington.The object of the work was, of course not limited to controversial purposes; in the case of the New Testament, especially, it was meant for pious use among Catholics. The fact however, that the primary end was controversial explains the course adopted by the translators. In the first place they translated directly, not from the original Hebrew or Greek, but from the Latin Vulgate of St. Jerome. This had been declared authoritative for Catholics by the Council of Trent; but it was also commonly admitted that the text was purer than in any manuscripts at that time extant in the original languages. Then, also, in the translation, many technical words were retained bodily, such as pasch, parasceve, azymes, etc. In some instances, also where it was found difficult or impossible to find a suitable English equivalent for a Latin word, the latter was retained in an anglicized form.” Catholic encyclopaedia.

The notes take up a good deal of the volume and have both a polemical and patristic character. They also offer insights on issues of translation, and on the Hebrew and Greek source texts of the Vulgate. From the point of view of scholarship, the Douay-Rheims Bible is seen as particularly accurate. Although not officially mentioned as one of the versions to be consulted, it is now recognized to have had a large influence on the King James Version. The Douai version was printed in very small quantities for export to England and suffered from persecution whilst there, not to mention centuries of use; complete copies in good condition are rare. 

William Pinder who bound this work is described by David Stoker in ‘The Norwich book Trades before 1800’: “PINDER, William. A bookseller and bookbinder at the sign of “the Crown” near the “Star” in the Market Place from 1665 until 1689. He buried a daughter in St Peter Mancroft churchyard 17 Apr. 1665 (parish register). The freedom of Norwich was awarded to him by order of the Mayor’s Court 1 1 Jan. 1670/1 in exchange for taking a poor boy (named William Pinder) as an apprentice and for binding several books for the Court (Mayor’s Court Book 26 Oct. 1670). He was also the father of William Pinder III who was officially bound apprentice to him in 1680. A printed advertisement for Pinder, dated 1684, is found pasted in the back of the Colman Library copy of Alexander Neville’s Norfolk furies 1623. He was buried in St Peter Mancroft parish 18 Jul. 1689 (parish register) leaving money in his will to his friend William Oliver (N.C.C. Wills, Original Wills 14), but Oliver was already dead by this date. William Pinder may have been related to Jonathan Pinder the bookseller who died in Cambridge 1663 (Gray & Palmer)”.

ESTC S102510. STC 2898. Darlow & Moule I 198. Allison and Rogers (rev. edn.) II 174. Lowndes I 185..
Stock Number: L4201 Categories: , , ,